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Michael Ovitz hit the Pellicano witness stand this morning with a heart full of gratitude for his former private investigator, whose ongoing wiretapping trial became a state-sanctioned love-in as the ex-CAA/Disney/AMG boss recalled all the fun they had back in the day while paranoiacally destroying people's lives:

Talking about how difficult a time he was having selling his company AMG in May, 2002, Mr. Ovitz tried to elicit sympathy from the jury while he talked about using Mr. Pellicano to get "embarrassing information" on his enemies. "Yes, it was an extraordinarily difficult time for the company and for me," he said, looking pained by the memory. "There was all this negative press saying we had client problems and financial problems. There were morale problems as well."

"All I wanted was a graceful exit from the business," explained Mr. Ovitz. And, apparently, in order to get that graceful exit, he needed to stop the articles being written by [Anita] Busch and [Bernard] Weinraub. As to the information Pellicano gave him, Mr. Ovitz expressed gratitude to Mr. Pellicano for providing such good stuff. "It was incredibly helpful to me," he said of the information.

Naturally, HuffPo correspondent and resident A/V geektress Allison Hope Weiner has audio excerpts of Ovitz's pants-pissing chats with Pellicano, while Nikki Finke just published brief testimony transcripts Ovitz fingering Ron Meyer and David Geffen as sources of the ever-threatening Busch/Weinraub articles in The New York Times. Meanwhile, court is in recess until Thursday pending the clean up of acrid old douche around the witness stand.